By Danny Wright
Sunderland are confident of completing the loan signing of Ross McCormack from Aston Villa before this weekend, according to a report.
News outlet TeamTalk claims that the Black Cats are aiming to recruit the 30-year-old forward in time for their Championship season opener against Derby on Friday.
TeamTalk has previously reported that Derby were keen on signing up McCormack for themselves, however in a cruel twist of fate he could instead be playing against them at the Stadium of Light within a couple days’ time.
It was understood that Reading and Hull were also keen on the former Fulham and Leeds attacker, but it now appears that Sunderland have won the race and this latest report says that they are still in talks with Villa over his “substantial” wage packet, which could be shared between the two Championship promotion rivals.
The report adds that Simon Grayson is “desperate” to sign McCormack despite already adding Lewis Grabban, Aiden McGeady and James Vaughan to his attack force on Wearside.
McCormack signed for Aston Villa in a big-money deal worth £12million last summer after he agreed a four-year contract.
His time at Villa Park simply hasn’t gone to plan though and after a period of poor form and missing training, he was eventually shipped out to Nottingham Forest on loan in January.
In total, the 13-times Scotland international featured 22 times across all competitions for the Villains, but scored just three goals.
SkyBet currently has Aston Villa as joint-favourites (2/1) to secure promotion next season, while Sunderland (6/1) are also in the running.
Football Insider Verdict
Aston Villa are paying for their awful business last summer with the fact that it looks like they’ll be splashing out on McCormack’s wages each week even though he won’t be at Villa Park. Sunderland should look to force Villa to let them get away with paying as little as possible, otherwise it could be a big risk on their part to have an attacker who hasn’t been in good form for over a year. Grayson already has a decent strike force on his hands, but it seems that McCormack is still his top target. Villa fans will surely hope that the Scot will play well for the Black Cats so they can at least try to flog him on a permanent basis.
In other Aston Villa news, the club have agreed terms to sell this defender to a top-flight side.